Hong Kong Open semifinalist Kidambi Srikanth would look for another good outing after a string of injuries and below-par performances while Saina Nehwal pulled out of the Korea Masters World Tour Super 300 tournament, starting in Gwangju (Korea) on Tuesday (November 19).
Srikanth will start with the qualifiers in Korea Masters, trying to keep up his confidence after going through a tough phase since his final finish at India Open this year.
It was his first appearance at the last four stage since the India Open and the Indian ace would look to continue the good run when he opens against Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki Vincent in the men’s singles.
Overall, world number 13 Srikanth enjoys a 10-3 head-to-head record against Wong Wing Ki, who is on a comeback trail after suffering the personal tragedy of losing his father in August.
World number 9 Saina, who has made early exits in a series of tournaments recently, decided to skip the event but she is likely to feature at the Syed Modi International World Tour Super 300 in Lucknow next week.
With Saina’s withdrawal, there is no Indian participation in women’s singles. The doubles event too will pose no competition from the Indian side.
Among other Indians in the fray, world number 16 Sameer Verma will take on top seed Chinese Shi Yu Qi in the opening round, while his elder brother Sourabh Verma will face a qualifier.
For Sameer, it will be his third meeting with Shi Yu Qi this year and seventh overall. The Indian has lost five times with his only success against the Chinese coming at the Denmark Open last year.
Subhankar Dey, who had claimed the SaarLorLux Open last year, will need to fight it out against Olympic champion and second seed Chen Long of China. The world number 44 Indian had lost to the Chinese at the Swiss Open this year in their only career meeting.
(With inputs from agencies)